Bagel chips are one of my favorite snacks to make.
These little guys are easy, healthy, and make such a pretty plate to share with your co-workers, friends, and family. Everytime I bring these into the office, I get multiple people asking me about the recipe. They're soo much better than store-bought bagel chips - worth the effort!
On average, I go to the movie theater three times a year, if that.
Why, you ask?
1.I'm hearing impaired.
I seriously cannot follow movies when there are no subtitles. Give me subtitles and I'm golden!
2.I have an overactive bladder.
I can't watch a movie without drinking water, and I can't drink water without going to the bathroom, and I can't go to the bathroom when there's no pause button!
3.I get movie sickness.
This is a true story. Usually, I just ditch whomever I'm with and move to the very back of the theater and watch the rest of the movie with a migraine. Once, I had to physically leave the theater to go throw up in the theater bathroom. It was a sad night.
As you can see, it takes a lot to convince me that a movie is 'theater worthy.' Once in a while though, a movie comes along that convinces me to forgo my above three points and hunker down at the movies with some Advil and a (small) cup of water.
This is one of them!
Shall we do another list of reasons why?
1. It's based off The Great Gatsby - arguably the best book ever written.
I read it in high school and shed a few tears while giving my final presentation on the book's closing paragraphs. (Not gonna lie...it was embarrassing.)
2. Star-studded cast includes:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire.
3. As Barstool Sports puts it, "If you wouldn’t go gay for Leo you are gay."
(Note: I am not a fan of this website and am dying a little bit inside that I'm quoting them here.)
That being said, my heart fluttered when I learned the movie trailer was released! As a testament to how lasting the impression I left on my high school classmates during my tearful presentation, I had multiple people email/facebook/text/tweet me to tell me that the trailer was out.
Thank you, guys...I'm glad my legacy lives on.
Here's what went on in my head while I watched this trailer. Keep in mind that I was first linked to it via the Barstool Sports website, which had a two-sentence description:
Did not see Jay and Kanye coming for a Gatsby trailer. Interesting choice. More importantly if you wouldn’t go gay for Leo you are gay.
Back to my thoughts:
1. Jay Chou is making an appearance!? YES!
2. Jay Z, got it.
3. Kanye and Jay Z are guest starring? YES!
4. Wait...why is there no Kanye or Jay Z in the trailer? Did I miss it?
(restart video at beginning)
6. Still no Kanye or Jay Z!
7. OHHHHHHHHH its the music!
8. Gawd I love Leo.
9. Carey Mulligan is so pretty!
10. Gawd I love Leo!!!!
What do you think? Are you going to watch it when it hits theaters?
Personally, I don't know how I'm going to wait until Christmas!
During my weekend roadtrip to Louisville, we had an amazing dinner at one of my new favorite restaurants. Proof on Main. My favorite dish was a Charred Octopus appetizer...so of course, I tried to recreate the dish when I got home.
I used calamari instead of octopus, which is similar but with a less chewy consistency - both work well for this dish. The charred-ness is a central component of this dish - make sure you get the meat nice and crispy and browned on the outside. This, combined with the fresh lime, is a summery, delicious combo!
Our Midwest roadtrip continued with Louisville, Kentucky...such a cool, quirky city! We followed GQ's Guide to Louisville and grabbed pizza at Garage Bar - the pizza and cocktails were amazing! I had the basil gimlet...people in Louisville make their drinks strong!
We did a little antique shopping on Market Street and found a great collection of vintage goodies.
Market Street itself was full of cute shops, bars, and restaurants.
We also visited the Riverwalk in Kentucky...beautiful views!
We enjoyed two dinners Saturday night, which we tend to do when we travel to solve the dilemma,
"Too many restaurants, too little meals!"
Dinner One was at The Oakroom, Kentucky's only AAA Five Diamond Restaurant, which just happened to be in our hotel, The Seelbach Hilton, which F. Scott Fitzgerald has stayed at and is rumored to also have come up with the premise of The Great Gatsby. Beautiful, old-fashioned hotel with lots of granite, marble, and oak finishings...
Dinner Two was at Proof on Main, the restaurant inside 21C Museum & Hotel. This was a boutique hotel that also had a museum and full bar and restaurant inside - genius. We had gotten multiple recommendations to check this place out, and I'm glad we did. The food was delicious (Chef Michael Paley heads up this as well as Garage Bar) - if you go, you must try the charred octopus appetizer - definitely my favorite!
On Sunday, we walked around Bardstown Road - another fun and quirky area in Louisville. I found a cute little vintage shop that turned out to be an absolute gem! I was going to put some pictures up today of my finds, but they are so special that I thought they deserved a post of their own - tomorrow, I promise!
I'll give you a little teaser though - let's just say I found a little Louis Vuitton in Louisville!
Why Louisville, Why Louisville - thanks for being so good to us this weekend!
We'll definitely be back for Round Two!
P.S. Who watched the Bachelorette last night? Charlie is definitely my new front runner and favorite!
If you're not following me on Twitter just yet, you're missing out!
Here's my very active Tweeting history during last night's eppy:
This weekend, we took a mini roadtrip around the Midwest!
Both Brad and I are from the coasts (East & West respectively), but moved here for college almost eight years ago. We both loved the charm and character of the Midwest, and the friendly, easygoing personalities of the people.
Charm, character, and personality were everywhere this weekend on our roadtrip to Cincinnati, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky. Though they were both fairly close to Columbus (1 1/2 hours to Cincy, 3 1/2 hours to Louisville), it felt like we were worlds away from home.
Our weekend kicked off with gorgeous weather on Friday...sunny and not a cloud in the sky!
Brad had planned out our itinerary for the weekend - Cincy for Night One, followed by Louisville for Night Two!
The drive down to Cincy was beautiful - rolling hills and grassy pastures everywhere we looked! We had enjoyed our previous trip down to Cincy this past Winter, but seeing it in late Spring was ten times better...
On the top of our list was an area called Mt. Adams, where we grabbed a drink at a local bar called The Blind Lemon. When we were here during the winter, we loved the cozy atmosphere of the 1960s underground tavern - very Harry Potter-esque.
This time, we were able to enjoy our drinks on the outside back patio - these pictures don't do it justice - it was absolutely beautiful!
Mt. Adams is my favorite area of Cincy - young and brimming with local bars, shops and restaurants. We had dinner at The Rookwood Bar & Restaurant- easily one of my new favorite restaurants. The space was originally a studio facility for Rookwood Pottery Co., and the character and integrity of the pottery studio has been preserved beautifully.
We ordered the charcuterie plate, fried bacon (with jalepeno honey), and Grippos fries - delicious!
The restaurant space was beautiful - we ate inside and then moved outside to enjoy its huge outdoor deck complete with plenty of patio seating, a lowered fireplace, and swings too!
If I lived in Cincinnati, this is where you'd find me every Friday night: drinks at The Blind Lemon, followed by dinner at The Rookwood!
While we were touring the Midwest, our dear Gracie was in the care of her Uncle Scherper & Aunt Lina - and being pampered like no other! We were getting lots of photo updates, and as you can see, she was one happy pup this weekend. Lots of time spent outdoors, riding in shotgun, and napping in Uncle Scherper's bed. She even picked up a little gardening!
Check back in tomorrow for Part II - Louisville, Kentucky, where I picked up quite a few vintage goodies that I'm in love with!
(As well as the breakdown from tonight's episode of The Bachelorette!)
The Chest Diaries are back! Last time, I left you guys with one newly stained, naked-no-more chest.
Today, we're going to:
1. Re-paint all the brass hardware with a fresh coat of black paint
2. Give it 3 good coats of gloss to add some shine back into her!
I used a basic acrylic based black paint for the hardware...
Paint, paint, paint away...
Loving how much more even the finish looks here for both the wood and the hardware parts...
As you can see, a lot of the paint had been chipped off and bruised before the refinishing. The acrylic paint that I used didn't have a glossy finish, but that's where our trusty Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish comes in...
I used this clear gloss to coat the entire chest - three healthy coats!
I love how the gloss brings out the natural warmth of the wood and softens up the whole appearance of the chest! It's like airbrushing for wood!
And the tally:
1. Wipe down and clean all surface area
2. Sand wood to remove all leftover stain and varnish
3. Restain to a dark walnut
4. Repaint all brass hardware
5. Apply varnish to seal and protect
1. Vacuum thoroughly
2. Strip away all remaining paper / fabric bits
3. Sand wood
4. Get rid of musty smell
5. Line completely with fabric
So at the end of Day 3, we are pretty much done with the exterior of the chest! I'm loving how it turned out...the darkness and richness of the wood really shines through, and the repainted brass hardware gives it a cleaned up but still vintage feel!
Next time, we'll tackle the interior...I'm thinking a deep rich red to line the inside! What do you think?
To follow the Chest Diaries from the Beginning, see below!
We have one of our largest agents here visiting from Taiwan, and they brought their biggest group to date - almost 40 people! It's always so nice seeing old vendor friends and meeting new ones as well, and it's an added bonus to see my Taiwanese vendor friends since they remind me so much of home and of my extended family back in Taiwan. (They also bring the best snacks!)
That being said, by the time I get home from the office, I am exhausted and definitely don't have the energy to cook a fancy meal. It's times like this when I rely on what I call home cooked 'fast food' - and I've got quite a repertoire to share!
This quick & simple pasta involves just 4 ingredients, whirred together in a food processor, then served over some hot pasta...presto!
Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner when you either:
1. failed to plan ahead 2. are too exhausted to cook or 3. just want to eat, ASAP!
Yesterday, I mentioned that my dining room got a mini makeover this weekend...and I couldn't be happier! I had purchased my old dining table with my old roommate before I moved out on my own. It fit great in our previous apartment, but I always found it to be a just a tad too big and bulky for my current place. It didn't help that I could count on my hands the number of times I've actually sat down for a meal at my dining table...definitely not a good use of (limited) space.
So, I figured it was time for a big change to a small dining table that was more suitable for my lifestyle. I am an avid Craigslister, and sure enough, I found this cute pub height set on Craigslist - still new in the box - and negotiated with the seller to get it for 50% off retail price!
Speaking of Craigslist, a lot of people look at me like I'm crazy when I say I love Craigslist...but I do! It's a great forum to buy and sell various items with people in your area.
After all, one man's trash is another man's treasure! Here are my top Craigslist tips:
It's like how I used to be, in the 1990s, when chain emails were the hottest thing, and breaking the chain meant your true love would fall in love with your most hated enemy and that all your worst nightmares would come true and that you would die at the stroke of midnight via your greatest fear.
Luckily, my dad's chain emails don't usually contain these threats.
In fact, the latest one he sent, titled, FW: Absolutely Amazing Pictures, was actually, well, amazing.
Shanghai, China: 1990 vs. 2010
Look at all that change!
USA and Mexico border - Current Day
Left side: San Diego, California; Right side: Tijuana, Mexico
(Is it incredibly embarrassing that I thought it was the opposite when I first saw the photo?)
Speaking of borders, here is the edge of earth - Bunda Cliffs of Australia (whoa!)
Just looking at these photos makes me want to get out and travel!
What are your plans for the weekend?
Don't forget - it's Mother's Day this Sunday! Do something nice for your mama!
P.S. This photo, titled 'Aww Yeah Flowers!' was also included in the email - much more indicative of the usual content I get from my dad.
Remember earlier when I said I love a little sparkle in the home?
Well...I bought a chandelier!
Let me back up a little...
At work, we have a few sample sales a year. Usually, we sell last seasons' clothing samples to employees at discounted prices. Every once in a while, we'll also have a special "Rummage Sale," which is an odds and ends sale. These consist of store fixtures and furniture we no longer use - tables, lighting, chairs, t-stands, floor rugs, mannequins, etc.
Yesterday, we had another one of these rummage sales, and naturally, I went.
I immediately spotted this beautiful chandelier while in line and made a beeline for it when the sale started...
The only tiny problem I have is that I currently rent, and it's doubtful that the ceilings in my place are high enough to accommodate this three-feet behemoth of a chandelier...